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Zoo celebrates volunteers’ incredible contribution

Zoo celebrates volunteers’ incredible contribution

Auckland Zoo Enrichment volunteer Jean Wilson (far left), who is celebrating 20 years of volunteering, with fellow enrichment volunteers Sally Draper and Rosemary Nightingale and primate keeper Samantha Robertson with enrichments for the Zoo’s orangutans.

National Volunteer Week Sat 17 June – Sun 25 June
This National Volunteer Week (17 - 25 June) Auckland Zoo is celebrating the incredible contribution its 230+ team of volunteers, and volunteers all over New Zealand, make to our communities - for everything from wildlife and the environment to people, and much more!

Auckland Zoo is encouraging volunteers from around the country who are in Auckland, to visit the Zoo and bring a friend for free. All a volunteer needs to do to redeem their friend’s free pass, is show proof of being a volunteer.

“At Auckland Zoo, we’re enormously grateful to our very passionate and committed family of volunteers, who over the past year have contributed an amazing 36,000 hours,” says Zoo director, Jonathan Wilcken.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the help of all these wonderful individuals who you can easily spot in their distinctive bright red uniforms. They really are our red gold! From engaging with visitors to mucking in on a multitude of practical tasks, creating enrichments for our animals and assisting our zookeepers – they make a vital contribution to the Zoo every single day. If you’re visiting the Zoo this week, we hope you’ll join us in thanking them.”

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Auckland Zoo still needs more people to join its great community of volunteers, and volunteer coordinator Jill Conway says there are roles for all ages (minimum age 18 years), personalities, and fitness levels.

“If you’re an active people person and love learning, you might be keen to become a Zoo guide. If you’d like to share your passion for New Zealand native species, we have a Te Wao Nui volunteer programme. If you’re interested in learning about primates and the importance of keeping these highly intelligent animals challenged, and would describe yourself as a detail person, you could be perfect for our Enrichment programme,” says Jill.

Our volunteers continue to inspire us daily. In 2016:

• Approximately 230 volunteers contributed 36,000 hours (equivalent to 16 full-time staff!)

• 240 corporate volunteers chose Auckland Zoo for their community volunteer day contributing 1,205 hours
• 45 Auckland Zoo volunteers celebrated 10 years or more of service

• 34 volunteers contributed 470 hours of field work – a significant amount of this was assisting Zoo staff with weeding, water testing, and carrying out marine surveys on Rotoroa Island where Auckland is in partnership with the Rotoroa Island Trust

• Our wonderful Zoo Crew volunteers collect 1,560 bags of grass, plus many bags of leaves to feed out to our animals, and who knows how many windows were cleaned!!

• Our Keeper Assistance volunteers worked an average 1178 eight-hour days

• We welcomed our second intake of Tuatara Club volunteers (a programme for 15 – 17 year olds) and are currently recruiting for a third intake (applications close 30 June)

• Auckland Zoo volunteer extraordinaire Jean Wilson, who has led the Zoo’s Primate Enrichment Programme, is celebrating 20 years of service!

• Special offer to New Zealand volunteers: New Zealand volunteers can bring a friend for free to Auckland Zoo during National Volunteer Week on showing proof of being a volunteer. Full terms and conditions at

• Become a volunteer at Auckland Zoo: Full details on all the volunteering roles and application forms can be found here:


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